Yet again, Pope Francis is being attacked for reiterating the teaching of the Catholic Church. This time, he made the not-so-revolutionary statement that parents are called to both generosity and prudence in discerning their family size.
However, like always, the media interpretation is quite different. According to them, Pope Francis says "Catholics shouldn't breed like rabbits." Which is, of course, not at all what Pope Francis said.
But I'm not really interested in rehashing what the Pope actually said as opposed to what the media claims he said, as several other bloggers (such as Leila and Simcha) have already done an excellent job doing so. Rather, I'd like to expound upon what the Church means by responsible parenthood, because this seems to be a concept that Catholics on both end of the spectrum don't fully understand.
What is Responsible Parenthood?
Pope Paul VI gave a very clear, concise explanation about w…
Laura Rose Wahlund
7lb 13oz, 20.75 in long
My entire pregnancy with Laura was fraught with anxiety due to our two previous losses. While I felt slightly less anxious with each positive milestone that we passed, I never was really able to settle down. As my pregnancy drew closer to full-term, I began feeling increasing anxiety about labor and delivery. I was worried that my labor would go so fast that we wouldn't make it to the hospital in time, and that we'd have an unplanned home birth or car birth (this fear stemmed from the fact that Peter's birth as very nearly an unplanned car birth). I was worried that I wouldn't be able to handle he the pain of labor, despite having had five unmedicated births. I was worried that something would go wrong during labor -- hemorrhaging, or placental abruption, or a host of other maladies -- and we would lose the baby. And so on.
Hypothetically*, let's say a generic Christian minister made the following comment during a news interview:
"Some women think that, in order to keep a boyfriend, they have to have sex. No. Responsible sexual behavior."
The next day, the media reports, "[Pastor] states women shouldn't have sex! War on Women!"
It'd be ridiculous, right? Anyone could look at the actual comments in context and see that's clearly not what the pastor said, or meant. He clarified his words with "In order to keep a boyfriend"; clearly, his statement was not directed to all women - only those who believed that they had to have sex in order to keep their boyfriends.
As a woman, I wouldn't be offended by his words, since I agree with him that women shouldn't feel like they have to have sex in order to keep their b…